Will equality ever last?

Ashley Rasina, Staff Reporter

One hundred-forty-nine years ago, slavery was abolished. One hundred-forty-nine years. Equality must be flourishing by now, right? Wrong. Women, African Americans, gays: the list goes on and on, people who are judged for something they cannot control. Discrimination may never leave America.

 

Women are only fourteen percent of the engineering workforce and a mere eighteen and a half percent of congress. They have never fully been treated as equals. Women have been thought of as dumb, and incapable of anything that does not involve child care or baking. In 2013, women were paid only seventy eight percent of what men were paid among year round, full time workers according to AAUW. But, of course women are not paid as much, they are not respected. Even from a young age, girls are taught that they cannot be as athletic as boys or as capable as them.

 

“Especially in PE when boys think I cannot do as much as they can. Teachers and other students sometimes think of girls as weaker, less capable or less smart.”

 

Stated Colette Holman, sophomore at Woodcreek High School. Women are not the only ones subject to hasty generalization.

 

About ninety percent of the LGBT( Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community have been harassed at school according to the National Youth Association. Around 9 million Americans identify as LGBT, that means more than 8 million of these people have been bullied at school. Bullying is not something to joke about. Over one third of LGBT children have attempted suicide. But get this, when they have a family that accepts them they are 8 times less likely to attempt suicide. Love and support matters, whether or not you think it does. Acceptance and kindness can be the difference between life and death.

 

When a child is different than others at their school, they tend to stick out, which does not have to be a bad thing, until they get bullied or harassed for it. If someone is of a different race, faith, is gay or has special needs they can be more targeted when it comes to bullying. For example, children with disabilities are 2 to 3 times more likely to be bullied than their nondisabled peers.

 

Discrimination does not stop with race or gender judgement either, it can be over almost anything.

 

“At school I see a lot of people spreading rumors about each other and labeling each other as ‘nerds’ or ‘jocks’.”

 

said Holman. She further commented on discrimination at Woodcreek High School stating,

 

“Our school is actually really good about not having popularity groups, but even so there are a lot of judgemental conversations about others.”

 

Someone’s capabilities do not depend on their race, gender or status. When someone puts you down or underestimates you, use it as motivation to prove them wrong, advised Holman.

 

Rich or poor. Straight or gay. Young or old. Girl or boy. Tall or short. White or black or asian or German. We are all people, no matter how many times someone tries to make others feel like they are not. We are all people and we deserve to be treated as such.

 

Discrimination needs to be stopped in its tracks. When will it end? When half our population is depressed? When we lose millions to suicide? It’s time to stop bullying and judgement, and instead, bring around equality to stay.